updated 01:15 pm EST, Tue November 25, 2008
Blockbuster VOD set-top
As promised earlier this month, video and game rental giant Blockbuster on Tuesday announced it would begin selling the previously introduced 2Wire MediaPoint player, a hub that brings video-on-demand (VOD) movies over the Internet to users' TVs. The set-top box connects to the Internet via an Ethernet link or built-in Wi-Fi module and, unlike similar products from competitors, does not require a monthly subscription or minimum rental requirement. Blockbuster promises DVD quality movies with the ability to fast-forward, rewind and pause capabilities, as well as saving movies for viewing later. The player has an HDMI connection for connecting it to HDTVs.
Other connections include a composite, component or Toslink connection. The MediaPoint also acts as a basic media hub, allowing user to connect external hard drives or digital cameras thanks to its pair of USB ports and an SD card slot for viewing content on their TV. The Blockbuster set-top will compete with both the Apple TV and Roku's Netflix Player set-top, even though there are major differences between the three, including support for HD on both rivals as well as broader support for local content on Apple's hardware.
The MediaPoint set-top box will be available through Blockbuster online and in select Blockbuster stores in time for the holidays, priced at $99 and, for a limited time, includes 25 rentals from the Blockbuster On-Demand library. This represents a value of at least $50, as subsequent rentals start at $1.99. [via Home Media]